After doing my fire update duties, ( compiling a list of needs for our volunteers to use at the shelter), I had some free time so I decided to drive over to the Red Cross shelter and see if we could offer them anything. Then I made a quick visit the Salvation Army Center at the airport, same purpose. Starting about 2 days ago we’ve been diverting donations of used clothing to the airport facility. The rumor was used clothing was not needed anymore, in fact it was piling up. Other items, like new baby diapers, blankets, non-perishable foods and of course gas card donations and cash donations to local funds were in serious need. They were no longer taking in used clothing at either place. However, other than that, they were all doing very well!
The disaster relief at 1100 Marauder Ave., Chico (airport) was in full swing, fire victims were being fed and volunteers were busy collecting donations. The huge building was a hive of activity. Soon I made contact with a senior shelter representative and we went over what our shelter was doing and I said we would stop our referrals of clothing. (I did on my return)
We want to coordinate mutual efforts as efficiently and smoothly as possible and so far – so good!
The only problem I found was that we had a lot of perishable produce at the Salvation Army facility and it needed to go out to fire victims ASAP. He estimated we had less than 24 hours to move it before it would start to go bad. They had no trucks available to move it across town to the Walmart parking lot for distribution. I told the ranking officer at the scene, I would do my best to ask around, but I had no clue where I could possibly find a big rig on that short notice.
Here’s where I got lucky. I exited this facility the wrong way and that caused me to drive right past Santos Excavating. Their gate was open, so I thought, why not see if they had a truck available? Against the odds, the owner was actually there. So, I told him about the problem and it was “all hands on deck”. Without any hesitation he said he would see what he had available and get this food moved. Yahoo! That was way too easy and the weird part it all came together in a series coincidences that led me to exactly the right place at exactly the right time. And finding that truck was not even my job, it was just one of those casual requests people say hoping somewhere down the line it might fall upon the right ears. (And it did).
-Thanks to another helper back at the Elks, Sierra Nevada Brewery will also be sending a truck. So, once again we have people stepping up to help without having to ask twice. Santos Excavating and Sierra Nevada Brewery are two fine Chico businesses that are doing amazing things to help those in need and I can’t thank them enough.
The above event was one of the many small [miracles] that seem to happen on a regular basis in this crisis. And they happen almost without notice, except for those directly involved. It may not seem like much to outsiders, but if one took into count all the amazing things I’ve seen happening…well, I think you would believe in miracles too.